Obama Says Rezko Played a Bigger Fundraising Role Than Previously Known

In a just published interview with Sen. Barack Obama, the Chicago Tribune reports:

Indicted Chicago businessman Antoin "Tony" Rezko was a more significant fundraiser for presidential candidate Barack Obama's earlier political campaigns than previously known. Rezko raised as much as $250,000 for the first three offices Obama sought, the senator told the Tribune on Friday.

Obama also said for the first time that his private real estate transactions with Rezko involved repeated lapses of judgment. The mistake, Obama said, was not simply that Rezko was under grand jury investigation at the time of their 2005 and 2006 dealings. "The mistake was he had been a contributor and somebody involved in politics," he said.

Repeated lapses of judgment. The Tribune says that's how Obama views it.

The interview raises another question: Obama's naivite.

Obama said that when he questioned Rezko about news reports of his questionable political dealings, his friend assured him there was nothing wrong. "My instinct was to believe him," he said.

He relied on his "instinct" and didn't do anything to verify it. [More...]

Then there's this:

Asked if he ever thought Rezko would expect something from their relationship, Obama was definitive. "No, precisely because I'd known him for [many] years and he hadn't asked me for favors."

Again, this isn't some unfamiliar contributor (like Norman Hsu, who contributed to both Hillary and Obama's campaigns without having a relationship with either.) Rezko is a man allegedly engaged in corruption at the highest level of Illinois politics. Obama had an ongoing relationship with him for 15 years -- since 1991 -- that included the time periods when Obama was serving in the Illinois legislature, running for U.S. Senate and serving as U.S. Senator. His real estate transactions with Rezko's wife occurred in June and December, 2005, after a year of serving as U.S. Senator.

The Tribune notes:

Though Obama insists he has answered all inquiries, his campaign's piecemeal written statements have left lingering uncertainties about whether the up-and-coming senator exchanged favors with the target of a federal probe.

Rezko helped "bankroll" Obama's 1995 and 1998 state senate campaigns, his failed congressional bid in 2000 and his 2004 U.S. Senate campaign.

I've consistently maintained there's no indication Obama did anything legally improper in his Rezko dealings. Rezko is presumed innocent -- his criminal trial is only a few weeks old and scheduled to last months. Obama is not a player in any of the alleged misconduct.

But it's hard to say he didn't exercise poor judgment and it's fair to ask whether it might happen again, whether he's too naive and whether personal loyalties might again impair his judgment on some issue.

Also, on Monday, the jury questionnaire was unsealed in the Rezko trial. There were three pages of names (pdf)that prospective jurors were told might be witnesses at Rezko's trial. Barack Obama's name was one of them, for reasons unknown. Rezko's lawyer has since stated he has no plans to call Obama. I have written before I doubt it will come to pass. But, the lawyers for either Rezko or the Government at one time thought it a reasonable enough possibility that they submitted his name for inclusion. It's unlikely it was because Rezko helped Obama buy his house...that's neither here nor there in the criminal trial.

So, either Rezko contemplated Obama might be a character witness for him, or the Government thought they might need Obama to establish that he received campaign contributions from Joseph Amaranda and another contributor, which the Government claims were proceeds of an illegal finders' fee scheme. Rezko may be innocent, and Obama did nothing legally improper, but there's plent of dirty laundry to go around.

I'll close by returning to Norman Hsu. How silly that some want to compare Hsu to Rezko. Hsu was a bundler and a contributor with no personal relationship with either Obama or Hillary. Even Obama says in this latest interview, the mistake in doing personal real estate transactions with Rezko was not just that Rezko was under criminal investigation, but that "he had been a contributor and somebody involved in politics." Norman Hsu was never involved in politics. I'd bet he couldn't have reached either Obama or Hillary on the phone directly. Rezko may never have asked for favors, but I bet if he called Obama, he got through, and not just to a staffer.

Obama says voters who are concerned about his judgment should view his involvement with Rezko as "a mistake in not seeing the potential conflicts of interest."

Obama says despite his mistakes (engaging in personal real estate deals with someone under criminal investigation who was a contributor to his multiple campaigns for public office and involved in politics -- and his failure to spot the potential conflicts of interest) voters should "also "see somebody who is not engaged in any wrongdoing . . . and who they can trust."

I think that's a fair statement of what voters should ask themselves. For me, I see someone who is not engaged in any wrongdoing, but the trust issue gives me pause.

Update: Comments now closed.

< MI Dems Approve Revote, Now Up to Legislature and Campaigns | Obama Tells Sun Times Rezko is Still a Friend >
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    Obama claims in the Trib. interview (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by MarkL on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 06:47:14 PM EST
    that Rezko never asked him for a favor.
    Oh really? I would be the naive one if I believed that. Did he really do no favors for Rezko at all?
    Did Rezko do any for him?

    Well, his wife bought Obama's yard. (none / 0) (#111)
    by derridog on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:58:53 PM EST
    Bad journalism (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Steve M on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 06:50:09 PM EST
    I'm pretty unimpressed by the Trib saying they did an "extensive interview" with Obama which Obama gave in an attempt to quell the controversy, yet they give us only tiny snippets of what was discussed.

    It's a classic case of the media acting as gatekeeper.  Obama knows the issue is not whether he can reassure voters there is nothing to worry about, it's whether he can reassure the press and thus make them stop writing about it.  Our friends in the MSM will decide whether or not we need to worry our pretty little heads.

    I might (none / 0) (#52)
    by standingup on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:29:22 PM EST
    agree if this were not such an ongoing issue.  Obama had the chance to come out with everything well over a year ago instead of allowing the situation to progress as it has with the press.  It has simply been an error on his part to attempt to downplay his relationship, brush off the press only to have more information come out that contradicts what was previously reported.  Obama knows or should know better than to assume he can let this go without it coming back on him and his campaign.  

    The same holds true for Hillary or John McCain.  Part of running a successful campaign is knowing how to respond to the press.  


    more like... (none / 0) (#86)
    by Josey on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:48:57 PM EST
    political calculation to downplay Rezko. When is omission considered lying?
    Edwards supporters always said his true relationship with Rezko would be revealed AFTER  Iowa.

    Or how much more (5.00 / 2) (#156)
    by standingup on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:43:26 PM EST
    might still be revealed.  

    Judgement (5.00 / 8) (#3)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 06:51:56 PM EST
    Remember Obama is only referring to the Federal case, all this time Rezko was in default on a number of  properties financed with public funds.  

    How does a community organizer and elected official conduct a real estate transaction with someone who basically depleted all the reserves of the properties, defaulted on loans and violated the terms of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit agreements.  Needles to say, ended up with numerous low income people losing their housing.  To me this is OBAMA"s lack of judgement.  This is not a simple matter and no one is covering it.  

    I bang my head.  

    Stellaaa That Is The Part Of This Whole Thing (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by MO Blue on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:26:20 PM EST
    that bothers me the most too. Got to wonder if that aspect of this will be reported later when or if Obama becomes the nominee.

    There is illegal behavior and there in inappropriate behavior. The  RE deal was IMO inappropriate behavior IMO.


    Lesson learned (5.00 / 5) (#160)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:48:18 PM EST
    Ultimately no one cares that a bunch of low income people lost their housing. That has been my experience. No one cares that Rezko ripped off resources for low income community. No one cares that Obama, the City of Chicago, the non profit that joint ventured with Rezko and the law firm all took fees and did not do their job. No body cares. What I despise are politicians who use low income people and communities for their own ambitions. In the end, Obama took the NIMBY position when he told the Chicago Tribune:
    The reasons for the problems such partnerships struggle are complex but frequently include urban crime, demographic changes and social factors outside the control of any developer or owner.
    Sun Times Now this is the ultimate Oke Doke. Blaming low income AA community for the obvious Rezko failures. Low Income Housing Tax Credit projects rarely, rarely fail. The neighborhood is not the reason for the failure, it's the developer, your supporter, Senator Obama.

    What does "ol' okee doke" mean? (none / 0) (#192)
    by jawbone on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 09:32:19 PM EST
    In usage above? In Obama's speeches? I know he places it next to "hoodwink" and "bamboozle." But how did a simply affirmative become something close to hoodwink?

    I did look it up in Urban Dictionary--and, oof, some of the meanings are weird, some gross.  There is one about tricking opponents in playing a card game called "spades."

    But, what does it mean and where does it come from?


    Long Playful Form (none / 0) (#195)
    by squeaky on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 09:35:48 PM EST
    Of OK

    From the Urban Dictionary for okey doke: (none / 0) (#215)
    by jawbone on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 10:11:08 PM EST

    7. okey doke  
      1.a convict
     2.A person found or declared guilty of an offense or crime.

    8. okey doke  
      oak-e doke, An extremely stupid looking person, of southern redneck origins.

    What is this okey doke thinking, putting a rebel flag on his lawnmower?

    11. okey doke  
      1. someone whose been tricked or duped
     2. a trick
     3. someone who was slipped something
    i.e.drugs    or alcohol

    "Man that okey doke was easy prey, we got his money and his car from him without him even realizing."
    "They played an okey doke on you, shad"
    "He's just an okey doke,his friends slipped him something in his drink"

    10. okey doke  
     in reference to football or basketball, to juke or break someones ankles

    The linebacker got okeydoked by Mike Vick

    13. okey doke  
      To go along with something until you are in a position where you can get your way.

    Girl, that's the okey doke, you do what he wants, marry him, and then you run his life.

    30. okie doke  
      This is the slang name in the card game of spades for when you set your opponent in one hand, then make them lose 100 points for going over on bags in the next. A usual okie doke results in a loss of 150 to 180 points.

    We bid 5 tricks, but only took 4, and we already had 8 overbooks. Then on the next hand, we took 2 bags. We lost 150 points in 2 hands. Man, I hate getting the okie doke.

    Do these seem to be what Obama is saying in using the phrase "old okee doke"? There are lots more and I left out all the sexual references.

    Strange that one phrase can have so many purported meanings. 3, 13, 30 might be what he meant?


    Don't Know (5.00 / 1) (#227)
    by squeaky on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 10:24:58 PM EST
    The okey dokey flap never made it on to my radar, not so interesting AFAIC. But I do like etymology.  

    Considering... (5.00 / 2) (#153)
    by DudeE on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:39:07 PM EST
    ...he's been hammering on the whole judgment thing, it appears he's lacking in that as well.

    Tribune articles and LA Times (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 06:55:50 PM EST
    The $250,000 is nothing new, the Trib and LA times already had the number.

    Of course this probably does not include all the money Rezko bundled for Obama as a member of his finance committee.  

    Bundling... (5.00 / 1) (#159)
    by DudeE on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:48:03 PM EST
    There is way more to Rezko than the tepid media has reported:

    Rezko Cash Triple What Obama Says

    "At the time of the (fundraiser), the state was in the process of foreclosing on a low-income apartment building Rezko's company rehabbed in Obama's state Senate district..."

    "Between 75 and 80 people attended Rezko's cocktail party, according to Burton, but he said the campaign has no list of the guests.

    More than half a dozen people who were there said between 100 and 150 guests were treated to an open bar and food served by Jewell Events Catering, run by renowned Chicago caterer George Jewell. Valets parked cars for the guests, who each were asked to donate at least $1,000.

    Rezko picked up the tab. The exact cost of the party has never been disclosed to the Federal Election Commission, which allows hosts to pay up to $2,000 for fund-raisers held in their homes and not report the expense. If a party costs more than $2,000, the candidate must tell the FEC about it. "


    I thought it was $180K - now it's $250K! (none / 0) (#15)
    by Josey on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:02:34 PM EST
    I think Obama's campaign has (none / 0) (#75)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:45:04 PM EST
    donated about $180,000 to charity, money they say is attributable to Rezko.

    worried (5.00 / 4) (#10)
    by Lil on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 06:58:46 PM EST
    I'm really starting to worry about Obama getting the nomination and the Republicans having a field day with him, and us losing in Nov. Even though I think some of his problems this week are sad and unwarranted, I'd rather have them fleshed out before the GE, because it is child's play compared to what the right wing will try to do to him. I want a Dem victory, and although a Hillary supporter, in the end I want a winner. Too many macro issues are at stake that have nothing to do with which one is president...starting with SCOTUS, and ending with John McCain being a disasterous president (more than likely).

    It is certainly better... (none / 0) (#110)
    by Jerrymcl89 on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:58:34 PM EST
    ... to have these discussions while there is still a viable Democratic alternative. I know Obama supporters attack the Clinton campaign for bringing a lot of stuff up, but Republicans certainly will, and it's better to hash it all out now.

    Well, this is an excerpt from Taylor Marsh's (5.00 / 2) (#135)
    by derridog on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:18:51 PM EST
    excellent post on this subject. It's on the side of her website under Obama and Rezko at the top of a list of topics. I'll try not to make this too big because I tried to quote some of it before and Jeralyn asked me to take it off. I'm not sure how big is too big, so I hope I'm not messing things up again. If you are interested, you should go to her site and read this in its entirety:

    As this article also cites, while Obama worked as a lawyer and to "improve living conditions for the poor," he took campaign cash from Rezko's slum empire. The reason he's called a "slumlord" is that as the Chicago Sun-Times has reported, Rezko left African American families in buildings that lacked heat, even in the middle of Chicago's brutal winters, and in buildings that were home to squatters and drug dealers.

    But Obama's ties with Rezko go beyond those two real estate sales and the political support, the Sun-Times found. Obama was an attorney with a small Chicago law firm -- Davis Miner Barnhill & Galland -- that helped Rezmar get more than $43 million in government funding to rehab 15 of their 30 apartment buildings for the poor.

    Obama role unclear

    Just what legal work -- and how much -- Obama did on those deals is unknown. His campaign staff acknowledges he worked on some of them.


    Thanks for that. (none / 0) (#164)
    by Jerrymcl89 on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:58:18 PM EST
    I'm trying to learn what I can about the situation. I support Hillary, and I know her hands are certainly not entirely clean when it comes to doing business with morally dubious people (nor, I might add, are McCain's). But in her case it's a built-in part of her narrative, and already reflected in how people perceive her. Whereas I think it could seriously erode support for Obama, based on the idealism of his campaign and his supporters.

    here's something from a site called (5.00 / 1) (#201)
    by derridog on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 09:43:43 PM EST
    fallbackbelmontblogspot.com   I know nothing more about it. But I found this there:

    In 2003, Nick Cohen at the Guardian wrote ... (about) Nadhmi Auchi. He was charged in the 1950s with being an accomplice of Saddam Hussein.... He was investigated in the 1980s for his part in alleged bribes to the... corrupt leaders of post-war Italy. In the 1990s, the Belgium Ambassador to Luxembourg claimed that Auchi's bank held money Saddam and Colonel Gadaffi had stolen from their ...peoples. In 2002, ...the Serious Fraud Squad raided the offices of one of Auchi's drug companies as part of an investigation of what is alleged to be the biggest swindle ever of the NHS.

    ....now The Times reports that the "British-Iraqi billionaire  (Auchi) lent millions of dollars to Barack Obama's fundraiser (Rezko) just weeks before an imprudent land deal that has returned to haunt the presidential contender."....the ...story is that the Rezkos were broke at the time the Chicago property developer's wife bought a garden lot for full price just as Barack Obama was sold the house adjacent at a $300,000 discount. Obama later expanded his property by purchasing part of the garden lot from the Rezkos at $104,500 when it was appraised at $40,500.

    Asked if she [Mrs Rezko] used money from her husband to buy the land next to Mr Obama's house, she said: "I can't answer these questions, I'm sorry."

    Asked how long she and her husband had known Mr Auchi, she replied: "I will not be able to answer this question."

    Mr Auchi's lawyer, asked whether the Fintrade Services loan was used to buy the land which became Mr Obama's garden, stated: "No, not as far as my client is aware."

    ....Bloomberg describes how the sale took place. Rezko's wife, Rita ...bought the adjoining plot in Hyde Park... for the $625,000 asking price, the same day that Obama bought the house for $300,000 less than the asking price. Antoin Rezko was under federal investigation at the time.


    Judgment isn't at issue here (5.00 / 3) (#33)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:12:07 PM EST
    It's his claim that he can bring the country together.

    These are precisely the kinds of things that Republicans can use to polarize Obama to the point where he becomes a divisive figure in Politics.

    And we all know they will.

    Judgement is the issue (none / 0) (#235)
    by Prabhata on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 11:08:57 PM EST
    Obama advertises his judgment against HRC.  As proof of his sound judgment, he brings out his opposition to the war in Iraq in 2002.  Clearly, he has shown lack of judgment when confronted with self-interest, and that is a mark of weak moral compass.

    Not a Good Day For (5.00 / 5) (#34)
    by facta non verba on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:13:03 PM EST
    the junior Senator from Illinois. First his pastor is all over the news, highlighted on MSNBC, CNN, & Fox News after the ABC News story from yesterday. "God Damn America" just doesn't play well in Peoria. And twenty year relationship with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. And now this? A seventeen-year relationship. When do people pull the plug? I am flabbergasted that his supporters are still coming up with excuses. Jeremiah Wright is like an uncle to Obama. He's now retired. Yup about a month ago. The fact that he said "Hillary ain't ever been called a n-" Well that was in a sermon, he was quoting Jesus. The analogy to Hsu is nonsense. Hsu and Clinton did not have a personal relationship. They didn't vacant lots for each other. Clinton didn't vote Illinois State Funds to throw Rezko's way.

    Please pull the plug on this charade. It's getting offensive.

    This'll be (none / 0) (#35)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:13:55 PM EST

    Why? (none / 0) (#40)
    by facta non verba on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:19:32 PM EST
    It is hard to take this barrage of unsavory news from the Obama. Please elaborate. Happy to understand why?

    No (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by standingup on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:35:26 PM EST
    The reason it will be deleted is because it violates the site policy against using profanity in comments.  

    How do you (5.00 / 2) (#102)
    by facta non verba on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:54:29 PM EST
    quote Wright then? There are his words, not mine. It's a direct quote from his sermon of January 13, 2008.

    His language was offensive. That line offends me. I understand if I were saying it but I am quoting him, word for word.

    These two long-term relationships are only going to get worse. I am sure the GOP is pouring over all those sermons for sale splicing and dicing, getting all the juicy parts. I wrote on my blog two months ago that 2008 would bring a new word to the political lexicon, a swiftchurch.

    This will not play well in Peoria. Or the Upper West Side. Can you imagine months of unrelenting coverage of Jeremiah Wright? Every show has devoted major airtime to this story today. Anderson Cooper last night seemed stunned. Why didn't we know this earlier? Simple, people aren't paying attention.

    Obama has serious flaws but broach a criticism and you're called a racist. Many Obama supporters see what they want to see. That's why BTD is so refreshing because he admits he has flaws. Obama has this tendency to deny everything, to trivialize it and then deny again. Say no it wasn't that way. Rezko. I barely knew him. Only billed five hours. Drip drip drip. And down the drain we go.


    Try this (5.00 / 1) (#154)
    by standingup on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:39:28 PM EST
    as others do when it is necessary for a direct quote - "God D*#n America" - and context.  

    Thanks! (5.00 / 1) (#175)
    by facta non verba on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 09:13:33 PM EST
    I did do the letter#- thing but more context is the way to go. Thanks.

    I don't know (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:35:42 PM EST
    I was wrong.

    I thought Wright was taboo.


    Obama has done (none / 0) (#58)
    by MKS on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:33:00 PM EST
    nothing illegal and nothing unethical as far as the known facts show.....Speculation is something entirely different....

    Worrying about appearances can go too far....Hillary has her own treasure trove of issues...


    This is from an interview on Jan. 21, 2007 of (5.00 / 3) (#147)
    by derridog on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:33:48 PM EST
    Barack by Wolf Blitzer. Note what he says then about his relationship with Rezko. He won't even use his name (also from Taylor Marsh --see my quote above).  Obama is lying by omission:

    BLITZER: .... I just want to give you a chance, Senator Obama.... Senator Clinton made a serious allegation that you worked for a slumlord. And I wonder if you want to respond.

    OBAMA: I'm happy to respond. Here's what happened: I was an associate at a law firm that represented a church group that had partnered with this individual to do a project and I did about five hours worth of work on this joint project. That's what she's referring to.

    --Democratic presidential debate sponsored by CNN and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute on January 21, 2008

    This individual? .... never mind that Antoin "Tony" Rezko and Barack Obama are deeply linked throughout his political career and have been friends since 1990.

    Mr. Obama has portrayed Mr. Rezko as a one-time fund-raiser whom he had occasionally seen socially. But interviews with more than a dozen political and business associates suggest that the two men were closer than the senator has indicated.

    Mr. Obama turned to Mr. Rezko for help at several important junctures. Records show that when Mr. Obama needed cash in the waning days of his losing 2000 Congressional campaign, Mr. Rezko rounded up thousands of dollars from business contacts. In 2003, Mr. Rezko helped Mr. Obama expand his fund-raising for the Senate primary by being host of a dinner at his Mediterranean-style home for 150 people, including some whose names have since come up in the influence scandal.


    So much for the "judgment argument" (5.00 / 8) (#45)
    by Robot Porter on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:24:42 PM EST
    This is the problem when you run a "wonk free" campaign.  A campaign based on slogans.

    When the slogans are found wanting, what is there left to support?

    It's also not helpful to find Obama wasn't entirely forthcoming about Rezko's role in his campaigns.  

    Do people still really believe he's going to be stronger than Hillary in the GE?

    I mean ... really?  Really?

    Obama thinks (5.00 / 3) (#62)
    by Foxx on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:35:43 PM EST
    he can talk his way out of anything.

    I didn't know about (unmentionable) even though I was a member of (unmentionable) for 20 years. I didn't know who Rezko really was even though I closely associated with him and Blagojevich (sp?) for 17 years.

    We haven't YET found that Obama has done anything illegal (stupid, unethical yes). CAn anyone doubt that he associated with Rezko all this time and really did nothing illegal, even tho we may never find out about it?

    "Doubt"? (none / 0) (#69)
    by MKS on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:40:53 PM EST
    Proof is preferred to speculation that aids one candidate over another.

    We already got the memo... (5.00 / 4) (#84)
    by Camorrista on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:48:45 PM EST
    Here we have an item about Senator Obama's links to a developer on trial for corruption, an item which quotes Obama as admitting to repeated lapses in judgement.  And what's the response by a vigorous Obama defender?

    It doesn't matter, because Senator Clinton is worse:

    After Clinton's litany of screw-ups...

    That's a refreshing difference from Bush and Clinton.

    I realize Clinton supporters are desperate to find some slime...

    Thank you for the reminder.  

    Just in case there are some truly unpleasant revelations at the Rezco trial, don't forget to haul out your files on Whitewater, Vincent Foster, the Travel Office and the Rose Law Firm.  No doubt, there's plenty there to demonstrate how much worse she is.  And if all that falls short, you can always dredge up Senator Clinton's vote on the war.  That, of course, will trump everything.  

    They obviously heard the accusations (5.00 / 1) (#158)
    by Dancing Bear on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:46:00 PM EST
    They should have stayed tuned for the results

    Not Guilty
    Not Guilty
    Not Guilty
    Not Guilty
    Not Guilty

    She was elected and could therefore vote.
    He wants to keep Mercenery forces there instead of troops.  Perhaps because they only cost 5 times as much and don't have to answer questions truthfully, and can't be prosecuted.
    Remember when Hillary donated her book royalties to Children's Hospitals and Barack bought a Georgian Mansion?  Gotta love a man of the people.
    Throw it right back at them,lol!


    Obama's Big Downside Potential, Even if Unjustied (5.00 / 3) (#157)
    by pluege on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:44:03 PM EST
    I continue to submit (and disagree with BTD) that Obama's media position is a great liability; he will be fried by the wingnut MSM if he is the dem nominee. What we know of Obama is not good; what we don't yet know could be much worse; what the wingnut MSM will do just with what we know and what they will infer and speculate in full smear regalia could be devastating.

    Clinton has been throughly, unjustifiably trashed for 15 years by the wingnut MSM. They've maxed out on damage to her. This is a strength of Clinton in comparison to Obama whose downside potential in the media is unknown and most likely is large regardless of his innocence.

    Obama would be a much, much better candidate in 8 years than he is now.

    Just the fact (none / 0) (#176)
    by ding7777 on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 09:14:24 PM EST
    that TL doesn't want comments re Rev Wright tells you how explosive its going to get

    just heard this a little while ago (none / 0) (#209)
    by irene adler on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 09:53:37 PM EST
    I live in Chicago. this is how the WGN 9 o'clock news opened its newscast tonight:

    "Obama comes to Chicago to discuss his ties to indicted businessman Tony Rezko."

    that's paraphrased, but pretty much verbatim. short. pithy. and political poison. if that's how this story is starting to be languaged here in Chicago I can't see how this is going to be anything but terribly damaging nationwide.

    though the Chicago press is pretty scrappy and fearless, the tv stations here tend to fawn over BO for the most part. that's why that headline got my attention.


    A little law firm lore...... (5.00 / 1) (#166)
    by Linda on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 09:03:34 PM EST

    May I point out that some information comes into law firms through the back door.  Lawyers know stuff about their clients and their situations that the client never told them about.  Lawyers hear stuff from a lawyer at another firm, a banker, a broker, whoever.  

    Also, in my experience, junior lawyers have their ears to the ground at all times because their futures depend on it.  They know stuff about clients no partner ever told them.  

    Fascinating, but what are you responding to? (none / 0) (#207)
    by cymro on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 09:53:12 PM EST
    It would help if you included some context for such comments, or replied to another comment, rather than to the original post. If you are responding to another comment, the relationship is lost when later comments are interspersed. Also, ratings can alter the displayed order.



    Cymro.... (none / 0) (#214)
    by Linda on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 10:06:40 PM EST
    Sorry.  I was responding to the various posters who seemed to be saying that information about Rezko wouldn't have reached Senator Obama when he was at that law firm.  I find that hard to believe because information just doesn't confine itself to formal channels.

    No need to apologise, but ... (none / 0) (#222)
    by cymro on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 10:18:41 PM EST
    ... it would help you to make your point (or have other people grasp it) if you attached it to one of those comments. We don't always have time to read and absorb and mentally collate every train of thought within a thread, there is just too much to read sometimes!

    A few things come to mind (5.00 / 3) (#169)
    by rghojai on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 09:06:41 PM EST
    Not knowing the state of Rezko buildings in his district feels either like he was doing a shoddy job or is being dishonest. More fundamentally, seems that the Rezko-relationship story has changed more than a couple times.

    Okay, though, this time it really is the whole truth. Promise.

    Me thinks any reasonable person would wonder.

    Too, how he's handled this relative to the press does not come across as wise. How did he not see this coming?

    The Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago (none / 0) (#173)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 09:11:28 PM EST
    Tribune have peen publishing articles about the Obama/Rezko relationship for quite awhile.  More recently, NYT and LA Times have also published articles.  I gather the Obama campaign believes the considered wisdom that most people don't subscribe to or read a newspaper anymore.  Hence Obama's reply to HRC's comment during the debate and his short version to the media covering his campaign.

    Innocent, until . . . (none / 0) (#205)
    by Marguerite Quantaine on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 09:49:58 PM EST

    A former Harvard Law Review editor and attorney at the top of his game, whose wife is a lawyer at the top of her game, knowingly enter into land deals with a man under federal indictment.

    I wrote a piece for talkleft about this on March 11th that was deleted because it was considered to be off topic.

    Maybe so.

    But it was right on the money -- and when it breaks in the news (I guarantee it will), answers will be demanded of Obama that can't (and won't) be dismissed as simply



    When you dump a story like this on a Friday night, it's because you're hiding something bigger. Bet on it.

    More than the third time, if you were (none / 0) (#210)
    by Cream City on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 09:53:45 PM EST
    watching the Chicago press.  Every time Obama said he gave to charity all that Rezko gave to Obama, the Chicago press found more -- at least five times so far, that I've seen -- and then there was foot-dragging by Obama until finally admitting it and donating more to charity again.

    This unfortunately has to make me think that there is yet more to be unearthed by the Chicago media, to go through this game again.  If Obama had good accounting methods, had been more forthright about it and ahead of this story instead of always having to be told by Chicago media which donations were made, that would be far better.  But that is not what has happened, over many months now, and there simply is no reason to trust Obama that we have seen the end of it.


    One man's bad judgement.... (5.00 / 2) (#206)
    by ineedalife on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 09:52:52 PM EST
    is another man's ethical lapse.

    Wasn't Kos on the warpath last year demanding an ethics investigation of Lisa Murkowski, Republican senator from Alaska, because she bought some choice riverfront property from a donor?

    Didn't Rezko host a fundraiser for Obama to prove to party movers that Obama could raise money? I wonder if Obama's Senate run would have ever happened if it wasn't for seed money Rezko pilfered from the teacher's pension fund?  Of course Obama has donated it to charity since then, now that he has deeper pockets. And most of the unwitting teachers probably voted for him.

    Yeah, but he's severely handicapped Clinton. (5.00 / 1) (#220)
    by Susie from Philly on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 10:17:52 PM EST
    Even if she wins the nomination, she can't win if the AA base doesn't turn out. The slash-and-burn Obama camp has done such a great job painting her as a racist, the wound may be fatal and McCain may win.

    And I suspect the racism charges have eroded his appeal. He was polling favorably among independents and moderate Republicans as the "postracial" candidate - now he's the "black" candidate and there goes the crossover vote.

    Appearance of Impropriety. (5.00 / 2) (#224)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 10:23:28 PM EST
    Obama should have sold that house and gotten himself a different one.  I've known some good people in DC brought down with much less.  

    Hey you... (5.00 / 1) (#234)
    by kredwyn on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 11:06:44 PM EST
    Long time no see...the appearance is always a strange thing.

    there will be blood.................... (5.00 / 1) (#240)
    by cpinva on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 11:28:45 PM EST
    in the water, come the GE, should sen. obama be the dem. nominee. contrary to BTD's continued, totally unsupported assertions, the media sharks will circle sen. obama come the fall. piece by piece, chunks of him will be ripped off, torn with the help of the republican/right-wing smear machines. when they're done, only his blood-drained head will be left, bobbing in the water like some grotesque child's fishing float.

    sen. obama may well be pure as the driven snow for all i know. however, by his own admission, he's guilty of serial poor judgment. in the real world, perception counts, a lot. by the time those 527's get done, he'll be perceived as the second coming of al capone. by comparison, the whole muslim non-issue pales.

    why people continue to think sen. obama is the more electable of the two remains a mystery. he is fresh meat, a virtually untapped source for smears. sen. clinton is pretty much played out in that regard, unless they find her with a live boy or dead girl.

    i really, really wish he hadn't let his ego get the better of him, and waited until 2012 or 2016 to run. i fear he may become permanently damaged goods.

    Barely a word (5.00 / 1) (#242)
    by facta non verba on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 11:39:47 PM EST
    on the news programmes about Rezko. I watched Washington Week, Hardball, Hannity & Colmes, Countdown, O'Reilly Factor and CNN. However they all covered Jeremiah Wright. KO was pathetic. "I don't need to replay the tape." But 600 word article from the Torrance Daily Breeze gets a Special Commentary. Hypocrisy? Chris Matthews and Sean Hannity both said that Obama is finished, Hannity going one step further noting Obama should resign from the Senate (wow, I agree with Sean Hannity though this is not the reason I think Obama should resign), O'Reilly was having a cow. It's pretty funny to watch. CNN is trying to stay above it all. Just the facts and a few clips. I missed the pundits talking. Washington Week was taped in early in the day but Gwen Ifill just wondered how this doesn't just hurt the Democratic Party in the long-run. Geez you think Barack Obama has destroyed the Democratic Party. Well buckle my bridges. I've been saying that for months.

    Judgement (4.80 / 5) (#127)
    by Dancing Bear on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:11:04 PM EST
    Have you taken a look at his Chicago District?  It isn't any larger than the neighborhood I live in. I have looked at blighted buildings, called "Codes" and reported violations as a neighbor. I find it impossible that "The Man of the People", "The Community Activist" failed to see crumbling slums all around him. If he walked down the streets of his District I would guess someone would come up and say "Hey, Barack.  I voted for you.  We have no heat'!  I see my Representative at the grocery store because she lives in my District.  That's why I voted for her. Her judgements affect the quality of her own life so she has a personal stake in it. I tell her that new graffitti appeared from the 13th Street Gang on a wall and The Gang task for came by two hours later and took pictures and asked me questions about when it appeared. He was too busy making plans.  BIG PLANS for his bright and shiny future full of money , property, and prestige. He is no man of the people.  He is a guy on the make and on the take.  It's all about him and if you think otherwise you need to take a nap and read the Newspaper once in awhile.  He heard of things about Rezko?  They were all over the front page of the Newspaper this interview is from.  Bad judgement would also include being a local Politician and not keeping up on local politics.
    So his wife doesn't like America, his pastor doesn't like America or white people (what color was Barack's single mother?)and one of his best friends was a domestic terrorist who was freed in 1981 on a technicality. And all this for President? He may have walked around Chicago for a short time sticking flowers into turds so he could brag about his accomplishments but if any of them lasted I have not seen any proof of it. "The Audacity of Hope" was given to him by his hateful preacher (who performed his wedding ceremony to Michelle) How is he going to distance himself from that?  Some friend.  His friends are all being tossed aside once their usefullness has expired. Did the Kennedy's go on vcation?  I haven't seen very much since the big wing ding in California. Maybe they were scared he'd toss them aside too. If you don't know or like who you plan on representing then you may want to try another vocation. Maybe you could become an Evengelical Pastor of a Satellite owning Christian Broadcasting Network. We know you're a good talker.  Your judgement?  Not too sure about that.

    Well said (5.00 / 1) (#139)
    by allimom99 on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:26:00 PM EST
    Wow. Here's something I just found online. It's (5.00 / 1) (#167)
    by derridog on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 09:04:42 PM EST
    Fox News (sorry) minute by minute account of the Rezko trial yesterday. There's a lot of stuff in there besides this that makes me very uneasy. Is this why he's suddenly coming out with these new interviews?:

    1:57 p.m. ET)

    Sen. Barack Obama's name surfaced briefly during day two of testimony in the public corruption trial of Chicago businessman and political fundraiser Tony Rezko.

    This morning, Rezko's defense team revealed an e-mail sent from an associate of David Wilhelm, the former campaign manager for Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, to the governor's former general counsel, Susan Lichtenstein. The memo states that Obama -- then an Illinois state senator --consulted with other state lawmakers about who should serve as board members on the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board (IHFPB).

    The IHFPB oversees the construction and expansion of Illinois hospitals. It's one of two state boards Tony Rezko is accused of trying to steal money from in what prosecutors call a "pay-to-play" scheme. Rezko never served on either board, but today two former employees with the governors office testified Rezko recommended dozens of people to those boards who eventually were appointed by the governor to serve. Prosecutors say Rezko's plan was to recommend people he knew would conspire with him to accept bribes and kickbacks from companies doing business with the boards.


    IHFPB (5.00 / 1) (#180)
    by Dancing Bear on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 09:16:59 PM EST
    More will be revealed as they say.  Much more,

    I forgot to mention (none / 0) (#131)
    by Dancing Bear on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:16:05 PM EST
    Tony gave Barack $250,000. and then another $180,000. for President and now he's walking away?  With friends like that Tony you may wish to back a Republican. At least you'll get your money's worth. $430,000....Posh Mansion adjacent lot, Lavish cocktail parties, victory parties,.......Priceless!

    I've not been particularly concerned (4.50 / 4) (#4)
    by litigatormom on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 06:52:26 PM EST
    about the Rezko matter (perhaps I am still suffering from PTSD after Whitewater), but I am a bit troubled by Obama's comment that he didn't think Rezko would ever ask him for a favor because Rezko was a friend.  That really is naive.

    Yes, because (none / 0) (#213)
    by Dancing Bear on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 10:04:11 PM EST
    we all know that Whitewater ended up being such a huge scandal. Like the Emperors New Clothes. Boy, that was only what about 15 years ago?  Maybe some rest would help. Or the results of the investigation. You should read about it sometime.

    This response would have more merit (4.50 / 2) (#230)
    by echinopsia on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 10:58:00 PM EST
    if it weren't something that Obama has threatened to bring up against Clinton.

    You know and I know it turned out to be nothing.

    It did, however, dog the Clinton administration and blunt its effectiveness in major ways.

    And a lot of ill-informed people still think it's something the Clintons have to answer for even though they were exonerated.

    You want a new president who has to deal with his own version of Whitewater? Nominate Obama.

    Not that I think he'd win.


    This is how inexperience costs us all (4.50 / 2) (#152)
    by dianem on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:38:31 PM EST
    I suspect that there was not any wrongdoing on Obama's part involving Rezko. However, a more experienced politician would have used better judgment in his dealings with contributor's. If he had waited 8 years to run, then Rezko would be a distant memory and he would have a significant track record of positive accomplishments to balance out his bad judgment in dealing with this particular individual.

    Okay, this is what bothers me (4.33 / 6) (#13)
    by caseyOR on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:01:46 PM EST
    Obama's campaign is based on his assertion that he possesses superior judgment, as evidenced by  his 2002 Iraq War speech. As far as I can see that single moment in time may be the only time he has used good judgement. How did he not know that a big-time political fixer like Rezko was bad news? Obama didn't just have one interaction with Rezko and then figure it was a bad idea. He kept it up until he decided to run for president. My guess is that someone (Kerry, Daschle, Durbin) told Obama to cut the ties to Rezko and try to soft pedal everything.

    And what else is there to this story? Everytime Obama's campaign releases some bit of info they insist that now everything is out in the open, until the next thing comes up.

    And let me be clear-- I agree that there is no evidence that Obama did anything illegal. There is plenty of evidence that he seriously lacks judgement.

    Not ready for prime time.

    Not Illegal is not enough (5.00 / 1) (#202)
    by Cream City on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 09:46:27 PM EST
    as it appears unethical -- and we have had too many presidents who skirted the law, stayed barely within it, but acted immorally.

    And it is unethical and immoral behavior that has brought down too many candidates before.  I fear that it will happen again in this case, by the end of the trial, months from now.

    And then where would we be, if this is our nominee?  Not for me.


    One matter means he has bad judgment? (1.00 / 1) (#23)
    by JJE on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:05:45 PM EST
    After Clinton's litany of screw-ups?  And Obama is the one not ready for prime time?  Give me a break.

    Well they were six months apart (5.00 / 5) (#32)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:11:42 PM EST
    He bought the house in June and the lot in December. He had six months to reconsider whether he should be doing land deals with the guy.

    How many years passed between (none / 0) (#59)
    by JoeA on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:34:48 PM EST
    the resolution authorising military action against Iraq,  and the one sabre rattling against Iran.  Hillary's judgement didnt seem to improve any there.

    It's time to note (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by Steve M on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:40:58 PM EST
    that no fewer than 10 Senators who had the good judgment to vote against the AUMF voted for the Kyl-Lieberman amendment.  Not everyone agrees that the amendment was saber-rattling or that it gave Bush a blank check.

    Why do I feel like I'm always repeating myself (none / 0) (#91)
    by ahazydelirium on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:50:54 PM EST
    Obama was not so consistent on his views concerning the Iraq war. As TalkLeft and eRiposte have numerously pointed out, his position on the Iraq war has shifted depending on the time.

    Hillary has shown consistency in that she acknowledged, with the gift of hindsight, she would not have voted for the war. Her votes concerning the funding of the war have been consistent with this view.

    As for the Iran vote. I'm ready to be crucified, so I'll just say it.

    The vote was not a vote for war, she said in her defense. It was designed to put diplomatic pressure on Iran. Much needed pressure. Personally, I think Iran is a terrorist country that must change. As a gay man--nay, a human being--I find the routine practice of throwing queers off cliffs in bundled sacks to be one of the worst actions in all modern history.

    While going to war is certainly not the answer, I think Hillary's vote was made in good conscience. And I don't think it is totally without merit.


    This is getting very tiresome (5.00 / 5) (#140)
    by Marvin42 on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:26:48 PM EST
    What does what Sen Clinton did or did not do have to do with Sen Obama's judgment? Does she control him remotely?

    Here's the thing... (5.00 / 2) (#194)
    by sas on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 09:32:49 PM EST
    HRC and McCain have had many years involvement in politics.  After that much time, things are bound to show up, that all politicians have....old enemies criticize you, you have brushes with questionable people, you make mistakes....

    What worries me with Obama is that people really don't know him.  What is his judgement, his weaknesses, his liabilities.....

    This is a huge risk we are taking, putting someone like him in power who is not well known.

    We simply do not know if Obama is ready for prime time.  Oh, and yes, he will screw up many times.


    He has handled it poorly... (none / 0) (#185)
    by DudeE on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 09:22:37 PM EST
    ...as original poster stated... he claims everything has been disclosed.  oops, no not everything.  now it's all out there.  wait, not yet.

    he could get away with it 6 months ago when nobody was paying attention.  but 6 months from now when McCain and Republican 527 groups are ready to draw blood, he's going to be flattened if he can't better address these kinds of issues.

    let's even forget the substance of the scandal.  he's ill-equipped to manage the PR beyond resting on charm and media laxity.


    Favor or not? (4.33 / 3) (#46)
    by ding7777 on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:25:43 PM EST
    As a state senator, Barack Obama wrote letters to city and state officials supporting his political patron Tony Rezko's successful bid to get more than $14 million from taxpayers to build apartments for senior citizens.

    The deal included $855,000 in development fees for Rezko and his partner, Allison S. Davis, Obama's former boss, according to records from the project, which was four blocks outside Obama's state Senate district

    Why did Obama write a letter if the project is outside his district?

    How many (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by mattt on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:28:11 PM EST
    of Obama's constituents might have moved 4 blocks into this shiny new housing?

    Though, if he knew at this point that Rezko's projects had a habit of failing it's questionable.


    You might have a point (none / 0) (#76)
    by ding7777 on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:45:19 PM EST
    if Obama's only desire was helping his constituents relocate to another district.  

    But the other State Representative may not like the idea of Obama's interference; especially if that State Rep had  his own "mentor" line-up for the project.


    Good that Obama can admit mistakes (none / 0) (#5)
    by JJE on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 06:53:15 PM EST
    and errors in judgment.  That's a refreshing difference from Bush and Clinton.

    Except that (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by badger on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:00:01 PM EST
    a large part of his campaign revolves around the assertion that his judgment (on the Iraq AUMF vote, for example) is superior to Clinton's.

    Now we find out he doesn't think his own judgment is so good.


    No silly, his judgement is fine (none / 0) (#18)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:03:18 PM EST
    It's his instincts that are off but he'll lay off using instinct when he's president because Bush has proven that relying on your instincts in the oval office burns the planet down.

    i don't think he claimed it was infallible (none / 0) (#19)
    by JJE on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:03:40 PM EST
    just better than HRC's, particularly on Iraq.  Seems accurate to me.

    He didn't really have to use his (5.00 / 3) (#27)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:07:16 PM EST
    judgement though when it came to the AUMF now did he?  Having to send loved ones into this mess, I'm not impressed with any arm chair quarterback and when it came to playing warball Obama has funded it with the best of them.  And allowed people to remain unaccountable with the best of them.  I'm so sick of his AUMF spin.

    Politics not Judgment (5.00 / 4) (#163)
    by suskin on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:57:37 PM EST
    I am so tired of people saying that Obama's anti war speech shows good judgment.  It was a political speech, nothing more.  And a safe one at that.
    *    Obama made the speech in 2002 when he was running for state senator in an anti-war district;
    *    In 2004, when Obama was running for the US Senate and the war in Iraq was largely supported by voters, Obama backed away from his 2002 antiwar speech by saying he had not been a US Senator at the time, and was not sure if he would have voted for or against the Authorization if he had been.  
    *    In 2007-2008, as a candidate for US President, at a time when the majority of American voters are against the War, Obama says he was always against it.
    It's politics, not judgment.  

    And the Rezko deal?  It's not about judgment either.  It's the consummate political quid pro quo - a favor - a gift -an illegal one at that.  This from the guy who sponsored ethics reform?  Obama gets a corrupt businessmen to help him buy his dream house and we're letting him off the hook as a lapse in judgment?  


    he did (none / 0) (#30)
    by JJE on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:10:54 PM EST
    He thought it was a bad idea, she thought it was a good idea.  If you can't recognize a distinction between not funding the effort once it starts and the decision to go in in the first instance, I doubt I can convince you of much.

    You really think that Hillary Clinton (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:20:08 PM EST
    and John Edwards thought that the AUMF was a "GOOD" idea?  I think they thought it was their best option at that time of all the available options.  I don't think that anyone I find respectable thought it was a "GOOD" idea but hey, maybe you know all these people personally and they told you it was a "GOOD" idea.  I can totally understand funding after it starts and funding without oversite because I've lived it......oh Yeah, and when he's president he can't figure this Iraq thing out without having mercs at his disposal either.  And oh yeah........if he had some trouble with Pakistan he would bomb them.  Get over yourself.  Obama is not some war is bad peacenick unless your personal denial problem insists that you must see him that way.  He would have voted for the AUMF based on everything I've heard him say and watched him vote for when military force is on the table and it is time for him to vote or say what he would do if the safety of the nation buck stopped at his desk....but he's certainly free to say that he wouldn't have because we will never really now will we?

    they thought it was better than (none / 0) (#49)
    by JJE on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:26:29 PM EST
    voting "no".  As the rest of your post is irrelevance and ad hominem, it's not worth responding to.

    And Obama didn't have to vote NO (5.00 / 3) (#67)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:39:37 PM EST
    He didn't have to vote anything.  He had nothing at risk and nothing to lose, but he's free to speculate all day and he does all day until I have a splitting headache listening to it.  All that can be done once the deed is done is for leadership to lead. And once he had a chance to lead on the issue of Iraq he became part of the problem and led us deeper in.  He did not begin to be part of anything leading us out.  I've begged my husband to quit the fricken military soooo many times.  I blog to keep my sanity about it and I'm reminded daily that if ALL the senior leadership leaves then kids will have to lead during this insanity and my husband doesn't believe in it and will not do it.  My husband has shown REAL leadership when the chips are down but Obama has not.  He has shown no more leadership on the done deed of Iraq than Clinton or Edwards did and Obama gets no extra kudos for doing nothing from me on the issue of Iraq.....not now, not ever.

    John Edwards thought it was a BAD idea (none / 0) (#64)
    by JoeA on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:37:53 PM EST
    He has confirmed this, as have his advisors from the time.  He didn't want to vote for it,  Elizabeth Edwards tried to convince him to vote against it also.  His political advisors convinced him to vote for the resolution as part of a calculation to do with him running for president.  He has since acknowledged that it was a mistake and that he regrets it.

    Hillary Clinton has not acknowledged that her vote for the resolution was a mistake,  nor is it even clear that she regrets the vote which I find even more worrying with regards to any potential future confrontations with Iran.


    I doubt she thought it was a "GOOD" idea (none / 0) (#71)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:41:06 PM EST

    I'd like to think you are right. (none / 0) (#90)
    by JoeA on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:50:46 PM EST
    and that if she does become President she will feel strong enough to do what she thinks is right,  and not support invading a country due to some kind of electoral or political calculation about needing to appear tough.

    If a president making poor (none / 0) (#103)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:54:39 PM EST
    war choices is your concern it's probably a draw between Clinton voting for the AUMF and Obama needing mercs for his military force and bombing Pakistan.

    Love the straw man you built there. (none / 0) (#117)
    by JoeA on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:03:23 PM EST
    1. He has said that he would go after Bin Laden or other high value Al Quaida targets in the tribal regions of Pakistan if they had "actionable" intelligence on their location and Musharraf would not act.

    If you put that statement to the American people you would get about 95% approval.  I don't think you believe that would be politically unpopular, especially with people knowing that it wouldnt be GW Bush's hands on the steering wheel.

    2. He hasn't said he would need mercenaries,  he has just refused to rule out their use.  It's not practical to kick them all out on day one as it would put US troops at risk.  If Hillary is promising to do that then I'd like to hear it.


    As to your #2, she's introduced legislation (5.00 / 2) (#132)
    by allimom99 on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:16:29 PM EST
    to do just that.

    Most of the military would tell you that (5.00 / 2) (#187)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 09:24:55 PM EST
    it is impractical to use mercs (using mercs is never practical...they don't care about or owe allegiance to anything other than their blessed hides and the dollar) and in their opinion it ought to be illegal for us to use mercs, but hey....this is your life and your story and you'll be sticking to it.  I know military people who would line up and volunteer for a sixth tour if they were promised that mercs would no longer be used.  This whole merc thing has been sooooo degrading to our soldiers and everything this country used to stand for.  I don't sell my soul so cheaply, where my soul is concerned I'm just not practical.  And somehow Hillary knows how to be a CIC who doesn't need mercs and she isn't afraid to sign on that dotted line.  I call that commitment and I call that some leadership!

    It Depends On (none / 0) (#123)
    by squeaky on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:06:47 PM EST
    Who she is talking to, like any good pol. Her speeches to AIPAC sure make it sound like a good idea that she voted for the AUMF. And the fact that she has not shown more remorse for the vote is a hat tip to them, imo.

    I would love to believe that both of them will bring our troops home as they promise but I doubt it will happen.  Instead I imagine that it will take a tremendous and continual effort on our part to end the war.


    that's not true (none / 0) (#100)
    by Josey on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:53:03 PM EST
    Most of your first paragraph is straight from Bob Shrum's book of propaganda.

    You are mistaken. (none / 0) (#204)
    by sas on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 09:48:44 PM EST
    At the last debate she said it was a mistake.

    Thank you.. (5.00 / 5) (#141)
    by Rainsong on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:27:17 PM EST
    I had seen that before, but this bit sticks out in memory:

    Even though the resolution before the Senate is not as strong as I would like in requiring the diplomatic route first and placing highest priority on a simple, clear requirement for unlimited inspections, I will take the President at his word that he will try hard to pass a UN resolution and will seek to avoid war, if at all possible.

    Because bipartisan support for this resolution makes success in the United Nations more likely, and therefore, war less likely, and because a good faith effort by the United States, even if it fails, will bring more allies and legitimacy to our cause, I have concluded, after careful and serious consideration, that a vote for the resolution best serves the security of our nation. If we were to defeat this resolution or pass it with only a few Democrats, I am concerned that those who want to pretend this problem will go way with delay will oppose any UN resolution calling for unrestricted inspections.

    And many other Democrats also took the President 'at his word' and made very similar speeches.

    IIRC it was Kucinich and co, who led the anti-war Dem faction, and Obama distanced himself from that faction!

    Obama took his 2002 speech off his website when running for Senate, and he waited 18 months to make his first Senate speech about the war and it argued against early withdrawal. In 2004 he said his position was the same as Bush's, and he voted the same way all other Dems did until he made his run for President.

    Obama has a public record of flip-flop on the war, and promoting a blatant calculated mis-representation of Clinton's position. (Along with many others - reversal like 1984 Newspeak)


    Not good enough (5.00 / 2) (#144)
    by Lou Grinzo on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:30:36 PM EST
    I really hate the "she voted for AUMF" talking point, for one very simple reason: Obama has no idea what Senators were told in private briefings, and he was not one of the people voting on this most serious of issues.  That's an immense responsibility, and for anyone who wasn't literally in the room for those briefings and didn't have his or her vote on the line, it means nothing for that person to say it was a bad idea.

    Similarly, I love all the people on Another Site who love to point to this and say, "Gee, I'm not even a Senator and I knew it was all a crock."  Baloney.  Those people also didn't see what the Senators saw, and they simply guessed.  The fact that they guessed right (and there were no WMD's) doesn't mean their judgment is better than Clinton's, merely that they got lucky in a situation where they personally had precisely zero responsibility.


    Agreed.... (5.00 / 1) (#150)
    by Rainsong on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:36:46 PM EST
    .. I dont think there is much in the Rezco story, but it builds up a piece of the puzzle as to his character.

    you're scaring me more (none / 0) (#113)
    by Josey on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:00:23 PM EST
    I keep thinking about Experience vs Experiment.
    I want a president with experience. Hillary.
    Yes, I know - young Obama followers hated the 90s with its peace and prosperity that enabled their mothers and fathers to prosper.

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Steve M on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:04:43 PM EST
    any politician can attempt to defuse an issue when it's in the papers every day.

    Obama certainly tried to brush off the Rezko thing at the SC debate where he acted like he barely knew the guy.  Now, after the Chicago papers have been hounding him for years, he finally gives them the Rezko interview they've been begging for.  Let's not nominate him for sainthood just yet.


    Of course, this IS the Trib (none / 0) (#83)
    by allimom99 on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:48:28 PM EST
    we're talking about - not known for its hard-hitting Obama coverage - I'd like to see him answer the questions of the Sun-Times. Maybe his name on the jury questionnaire is making him nervous....

    I thought he sat down with both Chicago papers (none / 0) (#98)
    by JoeA on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:52:34 PM EST
    today?  He is trying to get it all put and put a bad news cycle behind him.

    I have't checked the S-T, but will do so (none / 0) (#134)
    by allimom99 on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:18:15 PM EST
    its not so refreshing... (5.00 / 5) (#130)
    by Chisoxy on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:15:25 PM EST
    when I compare it to the answer at the debate where Obama gave the impression he barely knew Rezko, and only did 5 hrs of work on a case of his.

    Refeshing really isnt the word that comes to mind.


    Admit mistakes? (none / 0) (#22)
    by Marvin42 on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:04:46 PM EST
    Or was he stonewalling and now is not? One man's "refreshing" is another man's "same old, same old."

    If he was stonewalling (none / 0) (#26)
    by JJE on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:06:45 PM EST
    and isn't know, what caused the change in his stance?

    Inevitability? MSM turns? (5.00 / 4) (#143)
    by Marvin42 on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:30:03 PM EST
    No more favorable treatment? It won't go away? There is a trial going on?

    On a positive note it is a good thing to get these out now. If he can defend himself and does become the nominee better now than, say, October, right?

    Let's see how the Obama camp handles 1/100th of the stuff thrown at the Hillary camp so far.


    Continued and (none / 0) (#53)
    by Iphie on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:30:28 PM EST
    increasing attention to the matter?

    you commenters are quick (none / 0) (#6)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 06:54:39 PM EST
    I'm still editing the post for grammar and there's five comments already.

    He...he....!! (none / 0) (#11)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 06:59:09 PM EST
    Stellaaa (5.00 / 3) (#172)
    by Kathy on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 09:10:18 PM EST
    I knew you'd be all over this!  My God, you and I could've asked him harder questions (No Quarter has the audio if you can stand to listen to the stops and starts and pauses)

    But, Jeralyn said it best with this:

    But it's hard to say he didn't exercise poor judgment and it's fair to ask whether it might happen again, whether he's too naive and whether personal loyalties might again impair his judgment on some issue.

    I wish someone would do a timeline of Obama statements on Rezko, from barely admitting he's even heard of the guy to saying there was nothing there, to the boneheaded mistake to...this, several lapses in judgment.  The news won't track this, but we can (and by "we" I of course mean someone who knows how to do a graph)


    I'm baaaack (5.00 / 2) (#178)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 09:15:49 PM EST
    Jet lag and all. I promised myself that I was not going to engage, but I am still amazed that the press misses the issue of the Community Organizer hanging his community out to dry. Bamboozling the neighborhood.

    Hoodwinked (5.00 / 1) (#188)
    by Kathy on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 09:25:03 PM EST
    they miss it all.  It is amazing.

    From my interpretation of what Jeralyn so kindly wrote, it seems to me that there is even more ahead.

    I'm not quite sure why folks are not seeing farther down the road.  The government has taken out prominent dems in Alabama and New York now.  Why is no one putting together the theory that they would also go after the dem machine in Chicago?

    I guarantee you there is much, much more coming.  I have long assumed that the AG's that didn't get fired were the ones who agreed to get with the program...IL is next, apparently.


    What issue? (none / 0) (#7)
    by mattt on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 06:55:19 PM EST
    "whether personal loyalties might again impair his judgment on some issue. "

    Again?  On what issue was Obama's judgment impaired?  Clearly, with 20/20 hindsight, he should have steered well clear of his friend of 15 years and longtime supporter once he came under criminal investigation.  Other than his personal dealings with Mr Rezko, on what issue was Obama's judgment impaired?

    come on (5.00 / 4) (#14)
    by Nasarius on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:02:21 PM EST
    Even Obama called it "boneheaded." Being bestest buddies with a slumlord is an extraordinarily bad idea for any politician. What does it say about you when you don't have a clue about the kind of business your powerful friends are conducting?

    Rezko troubles (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:03:15 PM EST
    Rezko building troubles started in 1997.

    Obama, who has worked as a lawyer and a legislator to improve living conditions for the poor, took campaign donations from Rezko even as Rezko's low-income housing empire was collapsing, leaving many African-American families in buildings riddled with problems -- including squalid living conditions, vacant apartments, lack of heat, squatters and drug dealers.

    The building in Englewood was one of 30 Rezmar rehabbed in a series of troubled deals largely financed by taxpayers. Every project ran into financial difficulty. More than half went into foreclosure, a Chicago Sun-Times investigation has found.

    "Their buildings were falling apart,'' said a former city official. "They just didn't pay attention to the condition of these buildings.''

    Eleven of Rezko's buildings were in Obama's state Senate district.

    Hmmm (none / 0) (#47)
    by mattt on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:25:58 PM EST
    not good.  If he didn't know he should have.  Still if there's no evidence of quid pro quo, I don't see how big a problem it is.  People love Obama in his home distrct, don't they, where they should know first hand if he was a pawn of the slumlords?

    And I don't see how - absent a quid pro quo - the fact he took contributions from a landlord could hurt him in in the Fall, when the GOP would like to paint him as a socialist.


    Well, then there's Exelon (none / 0) (#78)
    by Iphie on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:45:59 PM EST
    In that case he also sided against his constituents and with Exelon -- if I'm remembering correctly, he has received more money from Exelon than any other member of congress. I don't know if it will hurt him in the GE, but I do think that it points to a very unflattering pattern. One, that he speaks out of both sides of his mouth, and two, the constituents that matter most to him are the ones with money.

    Don't forget Crown and the betrayal (none / 0) (#94)
    by allimom99 on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:52:05 PM EST
    of the Maytag workers. I don't get how so many unions can be backing him!

    does someone have a map (none / 0) (#174)
    by Kathy on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 09:11:55 PM EST
    to see which route Obama took from his office to his condo when he drove home?  Surely he lived in the district he represented?

    Again, someone with more computer abilities than me...all I can offer you is praise if you put this together.  There were ELEVEN Rezko slums in Obama's district.  Surely he walked or drove by one of them on his way to the capitol or to get lunch?


    But, the capitol of IL is in Springfield. (none / 0) (#177)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 09:14:26 PM EST
    Illinois (none / 0) (#181)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 09:17:31 PM EST
    The legislature was part time. He still worked for the law firm in Chicago. Remember Bush, he was a part time governor.

    riiight... (none / 0) (#189)
    by Kathy on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 09:26:28 PM EST
    did I say it wasn't?  I assumed he drove there, right?  Surely he passed one of the slums (if not all ELEVEN) on his way.

    Ask Obama (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by badger on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:06:44 PM EST

    Obama also said for the first time that his private real estate transactions with Rezko involved repeated lapses of judgment.

    It's only in the world of Obama supporters where someone who freely admits to "repeated lapses of judgment" is believed to have superior judgment.


    meh (none / 0) (#28)
    by JJE on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:08:50 PM EST
    everyone has lapses in judgment.  Nobody died because of Obama's.

    Hundreds lost their homes (none / 0) (#31)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:11:33 PM EST
    You don't know if they did not die by becoming homeless.  Why was he not out there advocating for the community?  Because Rezko was a supporter.  This is in my opinion a big, big lapse of judgement.  

    If you pile one shaky inference on another (none / 0) (#42)
    by JJE on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:20:35 PM EST
    I guess you can come to that conclusion.  Of course, by that standard HRC is responsible for the Rwandan genocide.  Anyone who claimed that would be ridiculous, of course, just as your attempts to fling dirt at Obama are ridiculous.

    Flinging? (none / 0) (#56)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:31:56 PM EST
    Just the facts and experience, but I guess this is something Obama supporters do not respect.

    Well (none / 0) (#36)
    by cdalygo on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:14:15 PM EST
    Not yet has anyone died from Obama's repeated lapses of judgment.

    Though we might want to pull out some of his more recent votes. How about his refusal to stand with Move-On when the censure vote came up? You know when Hillary voted to support them and he voted present?


    a meaningless symbolic censure resolution (none / 0) (#39)
    by JJE on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:19:15 PM EST
    sure would have stopped the war in Iraq.  Right.

    Ok Clarify What you just said (none / 0) (#145)
    by Marvin42 on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:31:05 PM EST
    What is the implication? Make is explicit please.

    Judgement... (none / 0) (#9)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 06:58:35 PM EST
    First of all Rezko was in violation and default with his loans for over 15 buildings with the City of Chicago, there is no way Obama did not know and he still had dealings with him and never ever did he condemn his mismanagement of the affordable housing.  

    do you have any evidence to indicate that Obama (none / 0) (#20)
    by JJE on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:04:39 PM EST
    "had to know" that Rezko was in default?  Did Obama own the mortgages?

    Well.... (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:09:57 PM EST
    Let's just say that as a representative of the community did he not know the buildings were falling apart and were getting boarded up?  

    The City would have sent default notices to Rezko's attorneys, Obama's law firm represented Rezko.  If he did not know about it then he really has no judgement and no sense.  

    Rarely do Tax Credit Projects go into default.  This guy had 15 that went into default.  Over 5 million in developer fees that he took from the properties and then did not pay the mortgages.  By the time they go into default, there should have been numerous meetings, numerous contacts, numerous phone calls.  Where was Obama?  


    Oh come on (none / 0) (#38)
    by JJE on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:17:44 PM EST
    You said he had to know that Rezko was in default.  Dilapidated buildings have nothing to do with whether mortgage payments are being made.

    Obama's law firm represented some of Rezko's development firms.  There's no evidence he spent significant time on any Rezko matters.  He was a very junior associate, so he wouldn't have been the one jumping in and calling emergency meetings.  Do you have any experience with law practice and how law firms work?

    I realize Clinton supporters are desperate to find some slime to stick to Obama, and the timing of the trial is hard to resist, but you're going to have to find something more substantial to dirty him up with.


    Oh come on when your an activist (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Florida Resident on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:21:36 PM EST
    people come to you with complaints.  Wether your a junior or senior partner in a firm you usually keep an eye on your friend's business with the firm.. that's the way it works.

    he wasn't a partner (none / 0) (#54)
    by JJE on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:30:40 PM EST
    he was a junior associate.  If you have evidence that he knew about this stuff, please present it.  Otherwise it's just speculation.

    Evidence (5.00 / 3) (#65)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:38:54 PM EST
    1.  Obama was a community organizer.
    2.  Obama was the State Senator.
    3.  Obama worked for the law firm that represented Rezko.
    4.  Obama took contributions from Rezko.
    5.  Rezko had 30 affordable housing properties that went into default, 11 were in Obama's district.
    6.  The properties involved millions in local, City of Chicago, and Low Income Housing Tax Credits.
    7.  Rezko took the developer fees, that should have been used to fund the reserves to prevent default totaling 5 million dollars.  
    8.  Obama claims he did not know.  
    We are not talking about projects that were in outer Siberia, they were in his District.  

    Tell me no one in his law firm said:  "Gee Barack, Rezko is defaulting this is big.  The notices from the City are coming daily"  

    Well, maybe Chicago does not administer their housing programs based on industry standards.  

    Do what I did, go read all the Sun Times articles and if you still feel he did not know, I will repeat, he is a bigger fool than you imagine.  


    Obama also wrote letters (5.00 / 3) (#119)
    by Boston Boomer on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:03:56 PM EST
    recommending government loans for Rezko to buy the properties and "improve" them.  That seems like a favor to me.

    Didn't I read somewhere (5.00 / 3) (#142)
    by oldpro on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:29:01 PM EST
    that Obama wrote letters of support/recommendation for the public $$$ for Rezko?

    As someone who wrote dozens of these letters for a state legislator, it never happens unless the legislator is ASKED for the favor.  Never.


    psst... (5.00 / 2) (#179)
    by Kathy on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 09:16:16 PM EST
    Michelle Obama's $200K raise as she is promoted to a job created just for her that has the same job description as the one from which she was promoted.

    Hospital earmarks for buildings

    No-bid contracts with kick-back to those involved

    Orlando Jones winds up on the shores of Lake Michigan with a bullet wound in his head...


    You are naughty (none / 0) (#183)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 09:19:27 PM EST
    where have you been hiding this bit?

    Law firms (none / 0) (#85)
    by MKS on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:48:53 PM EST
    Do NOT babysit their clients....They do not, for an infinity of reasons, ever assume any responsibility for issues that the client does not expressly charge them with.....

    A junior associate does not have any such responsibility.....

    Any transactional lawyer who would take upon himself or herself such a general role to a client that you suggest, would be a nightmare from a risk management standpoint.....

    A client could be going down the tubes on other deals but the only deal that matters is the one the firm is working on.....The billing partner on the file might get nervous about bills getting paid, but would not go out of his way to monitor NODs, etc, and would not generally blab about client problems to associates....


    Ahh, (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:55:44 PM EST
    Beg to differ.  Affordable housing transactions involve complex regulatory agreements.  Default in these transactions takes two forms, non payment and violation of the Regulatory Agreements.  Any developer who had attorneys involved in drafting and executing the agreements would involve the attorneys in the talks with the City and other lenders.  

    These are not typical real estate transactions.  They have multiple layers and attorneys work intimately with the developer, at least in the transaction in places that have ethical and competent local governments.  

    Heh, any community organizer who was an claims to be an Alinsky devotee, would have enough connections to the community to know.  If Obama did not know, he cannot claim he was a community organizer, he discredits the field.  


    That is not the way (none / 0) (#128)
    by MKS on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:14:03 PM EST
    law firms work.....

    And "bad" client will often use different attorneys for different things......You speculate that the same lawyers were involved in negotiations that you speculate occured, and further speculate that a young lawyer would know all these things.....

    A young lawyer who sticks his or her nose too far into things other than doing research and writing memos or drafting agreements--gets canned....Busybody who can't be trusted....


    5 billable hours (none / 0) (#63)
    by MKS on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:36:32 PM EST
    Day One:  Review file; Conference with Big Enchilada partner......2.0

    Day Two:  Review treatise and forms re agreement.....2.15

    Day Three:  Listen to Big Enchilada tell me how good he is.  .45


    ok my mistake jr associate (none / 0) (#77)
    by Florida Resident on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:45:23 PM EST
    Experience (5.00 / 5) (#44)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:23:18 PM EST
    I have 30 years experience in community development and affordable housing.  

    Rezko was in default on the loan payments and on regulatory default on not maintaining and not providing services.  This was not some 500 person law firm, this is a developer that the firm represented on numerous deals.  

    If Obama did not know then he is a bigger fool than you think.  What is worse, he did not care and continued taking money from Rezko.  



    junior associates (5.00 / 0) (#55)
    by JJE on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:31:48 PM EST
    draft documents and do basic research.  you may have 30 years experience in community development but your knowledge of legal work is lacking.

    Constitutional Law Professor (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:48:58 PM EST
    When was he that?  

    Irrelevent (none / 0) (#97)
    by MKS on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:52:33 PM EST
    to other real estate deals by a client of the firm.

    Well...what was he (5.00 / 2) (#112)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:59:34 PM EST
    The President of the Law Review, the Law Professor, the State Senator, the Community activist, or just a Jr. Law Clerk?   Yikes, how convenient.  

    That's not how law (none / 0) (#120)
    by MKS on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:04:54 PM EST
    firms work.....

    Rhodes Scholars don't get financial information.....Just the way it is.....Hierachy rules the day.....


    You are kidding? (none / 0) (#126)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:09:59 PM EST
    Yes, but this was someone who had a vested interest in the community and you claim he did not know or care to know?

    Prove it (none / 0) (#129)
    by MKS on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:14:53 PM EST
    Too much speculation....

    It was Obama's District (none / 0) (#137)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:22:23 PM EST
    Look, you can believe what you want.  I don't buy it, I use my judgement.  I use my experience.  

    Law Firms (5.00 / 3) (#171)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 09:09:56 PM EST
    Law firms that work in the affordable housing field are not the run of the mill hands off firms.  Typically, they are motivated with a political and a social ideals.  They act  as mentors to their non profit clients and they are committed to seeing that the affordable housing projects are structured appropriately and when in default, they work intensely to see that the projects are worked out and preserved.  Allegedly, this was the type of firm Obama chose to work for, a public interest, civil rights law firm.  

    Are you telling me that this was not why he chose to work there?  That it was just another corporate law firm that does not care about the community they work in?  The Obama biography is based on the narrative of the Harvard Law Review president who took a job with a public interest law firm.  

    Maybe I was wrong.  


    Obama continued his assoc. with (none / 0) (#81)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:47:35 PM EST
    the law firm while he was an IL. senator, a part time job.  He was listed as "of counsel" to the law firm.

    "Of Counsel" (none / 0) (#92)
    by MKS on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:51:37 PM EST
    means he would generally have no access to financial information about clients, etc....The bad news about clients doesn't usually make it to "of counsels."

    Rezko was not just a client he was (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by Florida Resident on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:05:28 PM EST
    a friend.  and not just of Obama. Fri

    The next year, Obama joined Davis Miner Barnhill & Galland, a 12-lawyer firm that specialized in helping develop low-income housing. The firm's top partner, Allison S. Davis, was, and is, a member of the Chicago Plan Commission, appointed by Mayor Daley. Davis was also a friend of Rezko. Davis and Rezko would eventually go into business together, developing homes.

    sounds like there more in this client lawyer relation Davis' and Rezko than meets the eye.


    Of course (none / 0) (#133)
    by MKS on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:18:02 PM EST
    The senior partner schmoozes the client....or eventually does deals with her own client...We know Rezko was a client of the firm, so one must assume that there was a relationship with one of the partners....

    Too much guilt by association....


    Unfortunately MKS that's the way (5.00 / 2) (#146)
    by Florida Resident on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:31:53 PM EST
    it works in politics.  And I seen some of the stuff the Republicans are preparing for the GE and they don't care wether its true, assumptions, or subjective evidence they are going to sling it and sling it and yes appearances do matter in this kind of things.

    The kind of information (none / 0) (#104)
    by MKS on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:55:22 PM EST
    you speculate the firm had is generally not shared beyond equity partners....of which Obama  apparently was never one....

    Firms screen sensitive information from very bright young lawyers all the time.....

    The size of the firm doesn't matter.....Partners hoard financial information....


    Excuse me (none / 0) (#107)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:57:36 PM EST
    Due dilligence what he allegedly did on these transactions, you have to certify to the Limited Partners and to the City etc, that the developer and or developers involved are not in default on other transactions.  Obviously he was starting in 97, so Obama knew.  

    5 hours (none / 0) (#116)
    by MKS on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:03:14 PM EST
    of due diligence?  

    That's nothing....You can't open a file in less than 5 hours....

    Due diligence can consume hundreds of hours......How do you know Obama was doing due diligence....Did you see the billing records....Link?  I thouht he was drafting a document....


    He said Due Diligence (none / 0) (#124)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:08:37 PM EST
    in the debate and documents.  

    5 hours (none / 0) (#136)
    by MKS on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:19:14 PM EST
    is still nothing.....

    Do you have a link on due diligence?


    Not necessarily a case (none / 0) (#82)
    by standingup on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:47:37 PM EST
    of being desperate to find something but rather having confirmation that Obama has not been as forthcoming with the truth as he has tried to assert to us.  I don't view this as a deal breaker.  I am concerned that he is running a campaign where he has lifted himself to such a level that expectations could become a problem if there are more revelations that contradict that image.  

    All candidates of any party have dirty money (none / 0) (#16)
    by lilybart on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:02:56 PM EST
    Until there is public financing of elections, there will be dirty money involved. How do you raise 10 million for a large state congressional race? A billion for president? And it just goes UP.

    How many Bush pioneers were corrupt cronies? How many Hill-Raisers?

    Until the big money is no longer needed, we just have to get over ourselves.

    No, it's not the same (5.00 / 4) (#24)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:06:17 PM EST
    Obama presents himself as the community organizer the advocate of the downtrodden.  Eleven of the Rezko buildings that went into foreclosure were in Obama's District.  Obama worked on one project.  He knew the guy was a slumlord.  If he did not, he should not claim to be a Community Activist.  

    Obama never condemned Rezko running the buildings into foreclosure.  


    Excuse me (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by facta non verba on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:17:43 PM EST
    But you are making up excuses. It's not the same thing. The money Rezko threw Obama's way got him elected to the Illinois State Senate and then the US Senate. The money Obama voted to throw Rezko's way was for public housing projects that were condemned for failing to meet standards. Some of these were in Obama's own South Side Chicago district.

    And if you're so upset about the role of money in politics then shouldn't you perhaps look at Nader who rails that?


    Full disclosure day (none / 0) (#50)
    by MKS on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:27:31 PM EST
    Obama on the cable shows about his ex-Pastor; full disclosure of all earmarks....Now he gives a full interview with the Chicago paper most familiar with Rezko...Get it all out there before the rest of the campaign...

    We'll see if Hillary matches such transparency.....

    Should've gotten it out sooner. (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by Iphie on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:52:09 PM EST
    And I mean, just a couple of days sooner. If it was his intention to get it out there before the rest of the campaign, he should have used his superior judgment and done it in the middle of the Spitzer media feeding frenzy when no one would have noticed. But now, well now the media is looking for something else to fixate on.

    With such (5.00 / 2) (#106)
    by facta non verba on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:57:03 PM EST
    transparency, what does opaqueness look like? If this is unity, what does disunity look like? And will someone please tell me what 'change' and 'hope' mean?

    If these pieces of information were about Hillary (5.00 / 1) (#197)
    by felizarte on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 09:39:58 PM EST
    the clamor for her to withdraw would be unbelievable.  For now, Obama and his supporters are still in the "just because there's smoke, doesn't necessarily indicate a fire " mode.  The next weeks before the Pennsylvania primary should be most interesting.

    carry that metaphor out to the next step (none / 0) (#199)
    by Kathy on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 09:42:17 PM EST
    and we all go down in flames.

    I think the thing we aren't supposed to talk about is going to cut him off at the knees in PA.


    LOL (none / 0) (#66)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:39:00 PM EST
    That was funny.

    Obama did pick his moment (none / 0) (#121)
    by facta non verba on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:05:24 PM EST
    Bear Stearns is bailed out. Carlyle Capital (tied to the Bush-Bin Laden and many others private equity Carlyle Group) defaults on $16.7 billion in loans. Bush makes comments on the economy. Dow Jones falls nearly 200 points. Riots and deaths in Tibet. It's a Friday so Saturday papers (the least read of the week) will carry the news. House passes a surveillance bill. Spitzer's gal still getting play.
    Great day to air some dirty Rezko laundry.

    It's a good day for him to get it all out. (none / 0) (#73)
    by JoeA on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:44:15 PM EST
    Everything gets swamped by the "glamorous" Wright story.

    And if he handles the Wright thing correctly then it is likely to blow over.  Most fair minded people do not tar people with the views of their Pastor/Priest/Rabbi etc.  Especially if they are in their 70's.

    IF I agreed with everything my church and priest said (I'm nominally catholic), then I'd never have used contraception and I'd have about 11 kids.  


    Blow over? (none / 0) (#99)
    by ding7777 on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:53:01 PM EST
    You think the Republicans will go out their way  to avoid commenting on this in the GE?

    No, the Hillary supporters (none / 0) (#108)
    by MKS on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:57:41 PM EST
    will do their best to get it out and publicized as broadly as possible--all in the name of vetting.....

    Take responsibility - don't blame Hillary (5.00 / 2) (#125)
    by ding7777 on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:09:25 PM EST
    You can bet that Hillary's camp knew this months ago but she is not the one who aired the sermon.

    Be serious (5.00 / 3) (#148)
    by Marvin42 on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:34:28 PM EST
    Hillary supporters made him say that stuff? Made the church sell the video tape? Made ABC news do a story?

    I think part of leadership is taking responsibility. You know "the buck stops here."


    Such transparency? (none / 0) (#74)
    by Maria Garcia on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:44:17 PM EST
    It's not like its the first day of primary season or anything. LOL.

    Come on (none / 0) (#238)
    by Andy08 on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 11:25:13 PM EST
    they are simply playing the "pre-emptive" game. Throwing all out together so that
    (a) no single things gets played over rand over (shared TV-air, less TV-air)
    (b) run the news-cycle before the next debate and the PA primary. So that by then they can claim these are "old news" and dismiss them.  

    It's a very old game and Obama is a politician.

    It is also no coincidence all of these are coming out late Thu and Friday. If you want to give bad news do it on a Friday (all presidents know this) b/c  "noone really pay much attention to the news on a Saturday."  Any reporter would tell you that.


    Please (none / 0) (#57)
    by Mary Mary on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:32:59 PM EST
    Obama used bad judgment? Went on instinct? Trusted where he shouldn't have?

    No, no, and NO. Obama needed money and then a mansion and Rezko provided. Simple as that. Nothing wrong whatsoever with Obama's judgment and instincts - for  an ambitious politician.

    It was said about Washington, DC, but it applies to politics everywhere. You want a friend there, buy a dog.

    Do you suggest (none / 0) (#68)
    by MKS on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:39:56 PM EST
    Obama received any sums personally (as opposed to his campaign) from Rezko?  

    That is quite an accusation....Any proof?


    x (none / 0) (#93)
    by Mary Mary on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:51:43 PM EST
    I did not mean to imply that Obama got any money for his personal use from Rezko. What I meant was that he needed campaign money and Rezko provided. Obama needed the money and didn't care to look too carefully about where it was coming from.

    Precisely (5.00 / 2) (#114)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:00:32 PM EST
    This was not some large national campaign, this was a small district.  

    From the LA Times: (5.00 / 3) (#182)
    by derridog on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 09:19:07 PM EST
    "It is a rule in politics: Early money is very important," said Jay Stewart, head of the Better Government Assn., a nonprofit watchdog in Chicago. "Tony Rezko helped put Barack Obama on his political feet. Tony Rezko was consistently a significant contributor."

    In a review of Obama's donations, the Los Angeles Times has identified as much as $185,000 from Rezko-related donors. Sources familiar with Obama's 2004 Senate campaign said Rezko's name was prominently displayed on a white board that totaled the amount his bundlers had raised in the Senate race.

    "Rezko was there from the beginning," said a source who had been close to Obama's political operation and did not want to be identified for fear of alienating political associates in Illinois where Obama's support is strong. "He is closer than Obama is putting on. The guy was always raising money." ... ..


    That is politics (none / 0) (#109)
    by MKS on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:58:20 PM EST
    Glass houses.....

    I am minded of Upton Sinclair (5.00 / 4) (#118)
    by Mary Mary on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:03:32 PM EST
    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it."

    Obama bought a house (none / 0) (#79)
    by JoeA on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:46:35 PM EST
    with his own money,  and his bid was the highest the vendors received.

    He has been a successful Lawyer, and a Constitutional Law professor.  His wife was in a job earning (from memory) about $400,000 a year.

    I'm interested to hear your allegation that Rezko paid for his house,  thats new.  Maybe you could direct me to your source?


    x (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by Mary Mary on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:53:42 PM EST
    Obama could not have bought the house unless Mrs. Rezko bought the lot.

    This is the last nitpicking I'll respond to.


    A Man Who (none / 0) (#72)
    by squeaky on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:44:08 PM EST
    Admits his mistakes, and a man who has learned his lessons is no longer naive,  are the flip sides to this coin. Glass half full or half empty, if you ask me.

    Also, in all honesty, I do not see how this is any argument against Obama in favor of Clinton who has had similar problems/accusations.

    And if any of the candidate's campaign slogans are examined under a bright light they all will be full of holes.

    I can understand people being nervous about Obama because he is more of an unknown, while Clinton is more known,  but this kind of stuff seems weak. imo.

    You hit a point though (5.00 / 1) (#149)
    by Marvin42 on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:36:29 PM EST
    Not knowing what is in Obamas past is a big part of many people's hesitancy. Let it all come out. Either he will sink or he will handle it. If he handles it and becomes the nominee, he is that much stronger. But if he is going to sink better to do it now.

    It's strong because there is no history (5.00 / 1) (#155)
    by dianem on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:40:45 PM EST
    If Obama had a long history of good behavior to balance out some fairly minor bad decisions, then this would be insignificant. But he doesn't, which makes these little things take on more importance.

    Nonsense (none / 0) (#161)
    by squeaky on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:54:30 PM EST
    Both candidates have miles of good things that far out weigh the dirt. These are democrats.  What a ridicoulous thing to say.

    Like what? (none / 0) (#165)
    by MMW on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:58:58 PM EST
    Read His Bio (none / 0) (#191)
    by squeaky on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 09:32:09 PM EST
    I am sure that you can find it somewhere. And his books should fill you in on the missing parts. Get back to me when you have a balance sheet of good vs bad.

    you mean the bio (5.00 / 3) (#198)
    by Kathy on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 09:40:22 PM EST
    that was reissued with a new preface wherein Obama wrote that some of his memories might have been a bit fuzzy and that if he got something wrong, it was just because of his bad memory?

    We are seeing the fruition of his bad memory play out with Rezko.  It's amazing how many details he can recall now that he's had several months to get all of it down, isn't it?  Sort of like NAFTAgate, where it took him a few days to remember that,  yeah, the call had in fact taken place and that when he denied it, he really didn't deny it.

    Judgment is one thing.  Being a bad politician is another.  Someone else here said that all politicians make mistakes and that the longer they are in office, the more they come out.  With Obama, we don't know what else is in that closet.  He should take the VP slot, learn how to politic at this level, then give it another shot in eight years instead of ruining this election for the entire party.

    People are being tortured in our name.  People are dying.  American citizens are being spied on.  Prosecutors are making cases for political gain.  Our economy is in the toilet.  I don't want to roll the dice.  I want to know what I am getting on day one.  Too much is at stake for "hope" and "change."


    Don't you think Obama is clipping and (none / 0) (#200)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 09:43:17 PM EST
    reading the Chicago papers on his relationship w/Rezko?  

    oculus-- (none / 0) (#228)
    by Kathy on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 10:28:30 PM EST
    he's a potential nominee for the president of he United States.

    People clip stuff for him.


    Yes The Sky Is Falling Again (none / 0) (#219)
    by squeaky on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 10:17:03 PM EST
    And has been for quite some time. Patriot act, AUMF, illegal spying, war in Iraq, etc, were all justified because the sky is falling.

    Best to stick with the idea you like HRC, and think she will be a good president, because there is nothing to suggest that because the sky is falling it is better to vote for HRC. Scare has worked but I am sick of it at this point. Leave that one to the GOP.  

    IMO it is silly to get caught up in the bad thing as justification to vote against because the identical argument goes the other way. And it is better to have a president who has faced personal difficulties than one who has come out of a monastary. Both HRC and BHO have plusses there.

    I do not see much difference and agree that a joint ticket would be fabulous. For me either way is fine at this point. Both have things that scare me, but trivially compared to more of the same.


    In other words Squeaky - (5.00 / 1) (#203)
    by MMW on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 09:47:19 PM EST
    You can't name any.

    IOW (none / 0) (#221)
    by squeaky on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 10:18:16 PM EST
    Your question is so dishonest that it took great effort to reply as I did.

    2002 Speech (none / 0) (#80)
    by Sunshine on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:46:55 PM EST
    Was his 2002 speech about not supporting the war in Iraq made in this atmosphere...  Makes you wonder if it was made with the advise of his spiritual advisor and if so, that would put a whole new slant on his 2002 speech...

    I find it interesting Obama recorded (none / 0) (#88)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:49:18 PM EST
    the speech later, not sure how much later, and whether the initial speech was recorded and transcribed.

    No (none / 0) (#96)
    by standingup on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 07:52:10 PM EST
    Obama had a couple of financial supporters who were helping to organize the anti-war march/rally and they asked him to give a speech that day.  I have not seen anything connecting his 2002 speech to Wright.  

    Who were the financial supporters (none / 0) (#170)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 09:08:26 PM EST
    who were helping organize the anti-war march/rally?

    This plus the pastor story which (none / 0) (#138)
    by kenosharick on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:25:39 PM EST
    the repubs will not let go made for a bad day for Barack. He cannot win a general with the tens of millions the "swiftboaters" will throw into this.

    I don't agree (none / 0) (#151)
    by Marvin42 on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:38:07 PM EST
    Listen, I am a Clinton supporter. But this does not disqualify anyone from being the nominee or winning. The Republicans will throw something at anyone. I believe a lot of it has to do with the quality of the candidate, ability to handle the issues and strike back.

    So let's see how Sen Obama does. And let's see how the story plays out.


    Drip, Drip, Drip (none / 0) (#162)
    by pluege on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 08:55:07 PM EST

    I love these Rezko threads (none / 0) (#168)
    by flyerhawk on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 09:06:22 PM EST
    I seem to remember a past politician embroiled in a land deal.  Gosh they so wanted to take down that politician for that land deal.  They created their own narrative.  They created their own timeline of events.  They invented motives and hidden agendas.  No accusation was too crazy.  No theory too cock-eyed.  

    Witch hunts, they aren't just for Republicans any more.

    You don't see it, do you? (5.00 / 1) (#184)
    by Marvin42 on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 09:21:03 PM EST
    its not about a witch hunt. Its about finding out about a candidate. For me something about Sen Obama's public presentation doesn't match up to his "story." Call it a hunch. I may be wrong, but I keep getting alarm bells going off in the back of my head.

    To get stories out in the open, to see what really went on, TO VET A CANDIDATE, is a good thing. No need to attack people because they want to know, no need to try to say "other person did it too."

    Listen we have seen a lot about Sen Clinton. Now we are starting to see a little bit about Sen Obama. Why are you so bothered by this?


    Trust me (none / 0) (#193)
    by flyerhawk on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 09:32:46 PM EST
    I'm not bothered in the least.  

    I find it amusing.  I already saw this movie.  I thought it boring and contrived the first time.

    Yes I know.  It's all about finding out the truth.  It's all about finding the smoking gun email or letter that proves that Obama is far more involved than we are led to believe.

    And OF COURSE you have a hunch.  It's that hunch that pushes forward looking for "answers" to those question that keep "bugging" you.

    The fact that these threads read like a who's who of the devout Obama-bashers is pure coincidence.  

    One note:  I am not lumping Jeralyn into this group.  She has never engaged in the fever swamp speculations.  She may be using this as a political club but she sticks to actual facts.  Nothing wrong with that.


    Rude much? (5.00 / 2) (#196)
    by Marvin42 on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 09:37:27 PM EST
    Why do you insist on being insulting if you don't like what someone is saying? What I wrote is true for me. I am NOT an Obama basher. I am also not a blind Obama worshipper nor an Obama apologist.

    Why can't you understand or accept that some of us really do have legitimate concerns? That legitimate concerns are NOT bashing someone.

    And yes, I will keep looking for real answers to real questions. You just pull your blinders on tighter, stick your fingers in your ear and go lalalala. I know this is rude, and I should be above it, but you pissed me off.


    OK (none / 0) (#212)
    by flyerhawk on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 09:57:07 PM EST
    I'm ok with upsetting people.

    I have no problem if people want to know more about this.  And as things come out we will find out more.

    But read over this thread and look at how many open ended questions of the "What is Obama hiding?" or "Why won't Obama disclose this?" variety?  And then think back to the early 90s.  The similarity is striking.

    It amazes me how many "facts" are already established here.  Rezko is a slum lord, eventhough most of his money was made in food franchises.  

    Any candidate I support always carries the risk of scandal, as this week clearly pointed out for a certain Dudley Do Right Governor of New York.  But I generally don't feel a great need to dig into every act that a politician does in hopes of finding dirt.  

    If the Rezko stuff is enough to put you off of Obama, that's fine.  I don't have a problem with that.  I don't agree but that's your right.  But a lot of the posters in this diary are ardent in their support of Hillary and opposition of Obama and are simply looking to throw crap against the wall.  


    Actually, we want a Democratic President (5.00 / 1) (#216)
    by cymro on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 10:12:27 PM EST
    You see:

    .. a lot of the posters (who) are ardent in their support of Hillary and opposition of Obama and are simply looking to throw crap against the wall

    We, on the other hand, see two candidates, one a known quantity, the other an unknown quantity.

    We know that Clinton will continue to be attacked, but it is highly unlikely that those attacks will be anything that people have not already heard. Therefore making Clinton the nominee entails little downside risk.

    Obama is exactly the opposite. We expect him to be attacked, of course, but we also expect surprises, because he has received so little scrutiny up until now. Therefore making him the nominee entails a huge downside risk. So it is far better that any questionable items in his past be brought up and made public BEFORE we chose the Party's nominee, rather than after, when it is too late to change our mind.

    Right? Or would you prefer President McCain to President Clinton?


    No we DON'T know that (none / 0) (#236)
    by flyerhawk on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 11:09:22 PM EST
    there is this assumption that Hillary is fully vetted and there is no need to worry.  We DON'T know that.  We know who she is.  She is the wife of a man who was constantly fighting ethics scandals during his 8 years in office.  We don't know that much about her.  Sure any low hanging fruit has been picked by the GOP attack dogs.  But that doesn't mean that she is clean.

    This is the first time ... (none / 0) (#247)
    by cymro on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 11:59:26 PM EST
    ... I have ever heard anyone object to Hiilary because we don't know enough about her! That may be your opinion at the moment, but the typical objection to her is more like this one:

    I see Hillary as the seasoned veteran who is reliable.  She can't really put the team on her shoulders and carry them but you know what you can get out of her.

    Oh! That was written by you, earlier today. I guess you must have had a memory lapse.


    Thank you (none / 0) (#217)
    by Marvin42 on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 10:15:54 PM EST
    For engaging in discussion, rather than being dismissive or insulting. The Rezko thing is not enough for me to write anyone off. But I do want to see how it plays out. It may be very shallow, and essentially be nothing. In which case I'll get to see how camp Obama handles it. It may be something more, who knows.

    But be fair, and realize it is not nothing. That doesn't mean that there was anything criminal. It may just be bad judgment, it may just point out some hypocrisy on the part of the Obama campaign (not to say there isn't enough hypocrisy to go around). It may point to some inexperience.

    And trust me, I for one have no interest in Whitewater type matters. But don't fool yourself: if Obama is the nominee be prepared to live through this for a very long time.


    As I said (none / 0) (#232)
    by flyerhawk on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 11:05:14 PM EST
    I am not trying to squelch discussion about Rezko or Obama's involvement with the guy.

    Personally what I think is the most likely explanation is that Rezko was a local business bigwig that hob knobbed with the Chicago Democratic Machine.   He probably isn't a bad guy but when his real estate empire started to crumble he started to do bad things.

    I don't think that Norman Hsu is a very good comparison.  A better comparison is Marc Rich.  

    The reason for my ridicule is that these Rezko threads are all pretty much the same thing.  Open threads on attacking Obama.  That doesn't mean that there aren't good faith discussions that are going on.  But they are often drowned out by a relatively small number of vocal posters who will say just about anything to smear Obama.  


    Welcome (none / 0) (#246)
    by Marvin42 on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 11:56:29 PM EST
    To the world of Hillary supporters pretty much everywhere else!

    Yep (none / 0) (#223)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 10:22:58 PM EST
    Between fighting off these attacks and trying to heal the country he won't find time to create one job for one America.

    He'll have to reset his priorities.


    Jeralyn (none / 0) (#190)
    by Kathy on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 09:29:14 PM EST
    also, apparently, O did an interview with the Sun-Times


    But the real problem is (none / 0) (#225)
    by adeleml on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 10:24:30 PM EST
    Maybe it was bad judgment or maybe something else. Maybe he's a con man, maybe he's just a political hack.
    First Rezko.
    Then the pastor.
    Then saying one thing to us, another to Canada.
    Nafta flip-flops.
    Then the housing projects.
    Then God Damn America.
    Then there was the million-dollar earmark for his wife's firm.

    But the real problem is that he promised to be a different kind of politician. Sounds like same old, same old.

    The real problem is - can you see the Republican commercials?
    John McCain is half Democrat anyway.

    He's a goner.

    Very impressive (none / 0) (#233)
    by flyerhawk on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 11:06:42 PM EST
    First Rezko.
    Then the pastor.
    Then saying one thing to us, another to Canada.
    Nafta flip-flops.
    Then the housing projects.
    Then God Damn America.

    I liked how you turned 3 points into 6 in order to add some heft to your claim.  Very crafty.


    His judgement has been terrible from the start. (none / 0) (#226)
    by WillBFair on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 10:24:31 PM EST
    He'll unite the country and reform the campaign finance system? He says his supporters will not vote for Hillary in the GE? And Michelle says she would have to think about that? He thinks he can recite the liberal wish list, duck his senate responsibilities, and still be qualified to create a national legislative agenda? Please. The man has been smoke and mirrors from the start. Unfortunately, many Americans have no defense against rhetorical tricks.

    The Debate (none / 0) (#229)
    by glennmcgahee on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 10:54:58 PM EST
    When Obama said that he only had dealt with Rezko by doing 5 hours of work for him through a law firm that he worked for. LIE!

    Judgement (none / 0) (#231)
    by cal1942 on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 11:03:05 PM EST
    Although this conerns judgement it may be considered off topic.

    In 2005 Obama wanted to vote to confirm Roberts as Chief Justice because he was impressed with Roberts' intelligence.  Obama's top aide steered him away not because Roberts was a Federalist Society right-wing ideologue but because a yes vote on Roberts could hurt him politically if he wanted to run for higher office.

    It appears as though the real life consequences of an official act don't really concern him. It also appears that he was impressed by a level of intelligence that would seem to be a commodity for judges at that level. I doubt that many SC nominees are dummies.

    Little wonder that Russ Feingold (D-Appointee Rubberstamp) endorsed him.

    I don't think he's ready for the US Senate let alone the White House.

    The fact that Rezko (none / 0) (#237)
    by Andy08 on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 11:14:46 PM EST
    was  a political figure cannot be underestimated. Even if legally
    Obama was not involved in wrongdoing it is wll known that
    there is an important ethics rule (in the Congress, Judicial& Executive) . "Federal employees shall avoid even the appearance of wrongdoing." Even the appearance of wrongdoing is enough to violate federal rules on ethics. "

    Obama should have known the ethics rule as a state and US Senator.

    Words can come back to bite one's butt (none / 0) (#241)
    by Prabhata on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 11:29:15 PM EST
    It's difficult to keep an image weaved with words, and that's the problem Obama has.  Any gap between his words and reality will become a chasm that will be hard if not impossible to overcome.

    Comments now closed here (none / 0) (#244)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 11:54:26 PM EST
    we're almost at 250. Thanks for your thoughts.

    Let's cut to the chase. Hillary could easily (none / 0) (#245)
    by MarkL on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 11:54:53 PM EST
    be ahead in the popular vote by the time of the convention; at any rate, it's going to be close.
    The SD's are there to exercise their judgment---not rubberstamp. You may not like it, but those are the rules.
    If Hillary is ahead in the popular vote, the SD's should go with her. Even if she's not, they can choose to weight primaries more than caucuses, and go with Hillary.

    The MS WALL ST (none / 0) (#248)
    by wiredick on Sat Mar 15, 2008 at 05:19:56 AM EST
    media  will not allow any Democrat to beat McCain in the GE without first a good trashing.  Although I am  a Clinton supporter, mainly because I think she will make the better president, I place no significance in the Rezco or Rev Wright situation.  All big time politicians have skeletons floting around waiting for someone to bring to life.  Anyone doubting the media want St John the Devine to succeed George is way naive.  They love their war and tax cuts.
    They also love their monopoly that Repubs alow.

    Opportunity is the culprit. (none / 0) (#249)
    by Marguerite Quantaine on Sat Mar 15, 2008 at 09:25:44 AM EST
    At the risk of being assailed, I think Barack Obama's primary character flaw is that he's an opportunist.

    Whatever benefits him most in the moment is the choice he makes.

    It will prove his undoing.

    Or, has.

    Obama Shows Judgment In Keeping Fitzgerald (none / 0) (#250)
    by AdrianLesher on Sat Mar 15, 2008 at 11:19:10 AM EST
    One of the striking things about the Tribune article was this:

    He did state, unequivocally, that if elected president, he would keep U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald as the federal hammer in Chicago, no small announcement given that Rezko is on trial and Obama ally Mayor Richard Daley is feeling federal heat.

    Obama and Republican John McCain are the only presidential candidates who have formally committed to Fitzgerald. Hillary remains mum on the subject. Perhaps she and Bill hope to hold a federal carrot or a stick out to the Daley boys, should she win the Democratic nomination.

    "I think he [Fitzgerald] has been aggressive in putting the city on notice and the state on notice that he takes issues of public corruption seriously," Obama said.

    Will this announcement on Fitzgerald harm your relationships with Chicago politicians?

    "I can't speculate on that," he said. "You can."

    I disagree with his policies, but I like the man. And I almost liked his answers. Almost.